The last paragraph in one of the letters of last Friday’s Optimist (“Worship now forced, not mandatory”) stated: “Perhaps when singing empty songs and reading empty Scriptures that fall on deaf ears come to an end, we, as a united, respectful, passionate body will come to understand the meaning of true worship.”
The problem that I have with the quote from my opening statement is the part about “empty songs” and “empty scriptures”. (My next few thoughts are not geared toward bashing the author of the letter, but instead is geared toward a more far-reaching problem.)
Whose fault is it that the songs and scriptures are “empty”? Is it God’s? Or is it ours? Amos talks about his subject: “I hate, I despise your religious feasts; I cannot stand your assemblies” (Amos 5:21). So does Jesus: “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain…” (Matt. 15:8,9). Jesus calls people like this “hypocrites” and “whitewashed tombs” (Matt. 23:27). The songs and scriptures are not empty (Heb. 4:12 and Eph. 5:19-20). Our hearts are.
For my three and a half years at this school, I have noticed that the student body does not react well to change (Ex: the use of my.acu.edu and Chapel announcements – both of which are virtually non-issues now). The past six months have led to another change controversy, that of the Chapel programming.
Discussion and concerns about chapel are good. In fact, I encourage you to continue to challenge the happenings at our college, including Chapel. It shows that you do care. This will cause the leaders to “be on their toes” so to speak and always strive to do the best thing possible. But my cry to the student body is that you trust the Chapel teams. They are not out to get us, nor are they trying to ruin our chapel experience. They are simply doing what God has called them to do-direct the thoughts and hearts of all students to the love and cross of Christ.
May the God of all strength and joy surround you as you seek the face of Jesus.
senior Bible major from Mesquite